Thursday, 11 October 2007

A letter from Hannah

This is in 'Wenglish', a mix of Welsh and English, by my five-year-old daughter, Hannah. If you read it in Welsh, it sounds like English (if that makes sense!)

To mummy get wel swn.
ai hop hut yw get wel swn.
ai wis hut yw wil get wl swn.
lost odd luv
hugs and cisis
from Hannah

In English, it reads:
To mummy get well soon.
I hope that you get well soon.
I wish that you will get well soon.
Lots of love
hugs and kisses
from Hannah.

Hannah has just been elected to the Pwyllgor, the school council. She had to decide if she wanted to stand for election, go out into the neuadd (hall) and think about what she wanted to say, then go back, stand on a chair so everyone could see her and make a speech.
She was duly elected and went to her first meeting, followed by lunch "with the big kids". We're proud of her achievement, of course, and quite astonished. I'm not sure I'd have had such self-confidence at the tender age of five, like Hannah. But even as a tiny baby she liked to be in charge and I've always had the sneaking suspicion that, on the day she started school, she looked at the head teacher's job and thought "that's mine".
Her election manifesto was that she would ensure that the school and Parc Bro Cerwyn (the sports field) were kept clean and tidy.
All of these details were, of course, extracted gradually over the few days after her election success. Sometimes, getting details of the school day is like pulling teeth.
School is a big secret to the parent. Occasionally you are allowed a tantalising glimpse into life inside the school gates, perhaps at a school meeting or parents' evening. Otherwise what goes on during school hours is one big secret between your child and her teachers.
The child will come rushing out of school, pleased to see you. You ask eagerly: "What did you do today then?" and they'll reply, opaquely: "Oh, lots of fun things," waving you away with a nonchalant hand, whilst piling you with discarded coats, jumpers and bags.
Mostly, with little ones, you can turn detective and work out what they were doing by the state of the uniform.
"Oh, you were painting today were you?" Looking at big splodges of orange paint down the front of the shirt. "What were you painting?"
"A violin." An actual violin or a picture of a violin? I may never know!
"What did you have for lunch?" Various coloured stains on the rest of the shirt: "Umm, baked beans? Yoghurt? Let me see.... (sniff) ...Toffee yoghurt?"
"Yes, Mum," comes a bored voice.
"What did you do, who did you play with?" Their eyes are rolling at this point.
"Can't remember," comes a grumpy voice.
"Well, there are grass stains on the back of your trousers, mud on your shoes, twigs in your hair. I think you played football, climbed the fence and went to play under the trees?"
"Yes, Mum," the child replies, stifling a yawn.
It's all a bit worrying, really. If they are like this at five and three, what are they going to be like at 15 and 13? It's a scary thought!


  1. Congrats to Hannah on being an out-spoken member of the school - how very grown up! And to her card - you say she's 5 - did she write all of that? Our conversations with Evie (6), boyfriend's daughter, sound spookily similar to your school conversations. We mainly get 'nothing much' or 'can't remember' - as you say, like pulling teeth! Mind you, she took a run-over(not too badly) baby grass snake into school on Monday and that did elicit a bit of a response. Asked what the teacher said, she replied 'YUCK!'...oh, well, we tried to educate the towny children of Brighton. Mootia x

  2. What a lovely card and words.

  3. THis rings very true for me! It is a bit of a closed worls, school, and when you're used to knowing every little detail of their day, it's quite strange! Good for Hannah, and what a lovely card.

  4. Oh well done to Hannah. I agree about the whole school thing ... though my daughter has just started nursery, so maybe it's different. Whenever I ask what she's done that day, the response is always "played toys" ... luckily one of the teachers (is that the correct term?) always seeks me out to let me know how my little girl has been, and what she's done ... just as well, or I'd never know!!

  5. Great picture, an artist in the making, and undoubtly and poet.
    I have similar card in my treasures box.
    It reads

    Mummy I love you lots, please can I have some sweets.
    Love Gemma.

  6. Good on Hannah! She's on the right road to success and from the sounds of it, it won't be long before she reaches the top!

    Funny how all kids seem to be the same when they come out of school. I love guessing games, good job really!

    Crystal xx

  7. Well done to Hannah. This was just about the right level for my Wenglish!
    I always found that the information on what they had been doing never came in response to direct questioning but was offered casually over tea or in the bath.
    Great picture too.

  8. It seems so odd to think they have something as grown-up sounding as a school council at so young an age doesn't it? I guess it's good for them to have a voice xx

  9. Wow! Hannah sounds a force to be reckoned with - future first minister material there! What a lovely card and, like Elizabethm, just about on a level I can handle!

  10. Oh yes....yes yes yes. What did you do at school today?
    Shrug. 'Can't remember.'
    Sometimes I catch myself sounding like the gestapo, trying to get at least one fact out of him.
    'What did you have for lunch?'
    'Can't remember.'
    'What did you do in History?'
    Yup, you got it.
    Ah well.
    Loved the card, loved the Wenglish.
    SOunds like The Mistress of All Evil might have a rival for world domination! jxx


I am sorry to have to add word verification thing again but I keep getting spammed.